29 May 2014

Judge reserves decision on Banks

10:23 pm on 29 May 2014

ACT MP John Banks will have to wait until next Thursday to find out what his political fate is.

John Banks.

John Banks. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Banks has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with filing a false electoral return after his failed Auckland 2010 mayoral campaign.

The charge relates to donations from internet businessman Kim Dotcom and Sky City casino.

Justice Wylie has reserved his decision.

Mr Banks' lawyer, David Jones, told the court in his closing arguments there was no motive for Mr Banks to record donations he knew about as anonymous.

He said that, by contrast, Mr Dotcom blamed the Government for the police raids on his home and had said he wants to destroy Mr Banks and Prime Minister John Key, as well as un-seating the Government.

But Crown prosecutor Paul Dacre said Mr Banks engineered a situation to make sure the donations were kept from his campaign team and recorded as anonymous.

In closing submissions earlier Crown prosecutor Paul Dacre, QC, argued Mr Banks wanted politically problematic donations kept secret.

Mr Banks engineered a situation with his campaign team to make sure donations from SkyCity and Mr Dotcom were kept secret, Mr Dacre said.